Cerrillos Turquoise Mining Museum - Cerrillos, New Mexico
Beyond this door the past lives on...
visit the Cerrillos Turquoise Mining Museum
- A visit to the Cerrillos Turquoise Mining Museum brings you to a private collection
and display of tools, equipment, objects and artifacts used in
daily life during the mineral mining era (prehistoric - 1880's - recent) of Cerrillos.
- The museum is on the site of the old Palace Hotel where Thomas
Edison stayed while working on gold experiments in the nearby
mining district of old placers, and NM territorial governor Lew
Wallace drafted his book Ben Hur. Rough riders were recruited from the cowboys here
to fight in Cuba, following Teddy Roosevelt up San Juan hill.
- The site for the Cerrillos Turquoise Mining Museum and Trading Post is packed with history.
- Centuries ago, Native Americans mined this area for turquoise to
use in trade and jewelry, some of which has been dated back
to the 900's. They also mined lead which was hand ground for paint and
pottery glaze. Spanish explorers discovered these ancient diggings
and worked the mines during the 17th and 18th centuries. Anglo
miners toiled until early 1900's, when most mines became exhausted
and played out. Today, there are several private claims to this world famous Cerrillos turquoise.
- The equipment and artifacts found here at the Cerrillos Turquoise Mining Museum include prehistoric
tools, photographs, maps, rocks, mineral samples, dry washers, gold
pans, miners' lamps and drills. The museums' windows are a colorful
and intriguing collection of old medicine bottles, telegraph
insulators and more.
Visit the museum year round - 7 days a week